Cooperative Extension & Other University Programs
N.C. Specialty Crops Program
Specialty Crops are new crops that have not been commercially grown in a particular region. The North Carolina Specialty Crops Program provides crop production information, marketing reports and other resources for farmers, entrepreneurs and consumers within the specialty crops market. Read more about the N.C. Specialty Crops Program: Crops on a Fast Track: The North Carolina Specialty Crops Program.
Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS)
CEFS is a leader in research, innovation and service for the agricultural community. The Center provides support for new and transitioning farmers, contributes high quality research to the sustainable agriculture knowledge base, and offers educational programs to local, national, and international audiences.
Growing Small Farms
N.C. Cooperative Extension Agricultural agent in Chatham County, Debbie Roos, works with farmers to promote increased awareness, understanding and practice of sustainable agriculture through this Website. Read more about Debbie Roos: A New Extension Agent for the New Farmer.
Statistics and Data
Economic Development Intelligence System (EDIS)
This site offers information on the county-by-county economic conditions in North Carolina. This information is useful for those in the early planning or expansion stages of a value-added enterprise to help understand what the market potential is for the area in which they are considering operating.
Population Estimates and Projections
This site provides detailed demographic information, including county-by-county projections for population and income growth through 2010. This site is highly recommended for those who need dependable demographic data, as it is frequently updated with new information.
Examples Local, Regional and State Marketing Programs
Blue Ridge Grown
This site was designed to help consumers quickly locate fruits and vegetables, herbs, organic produce, garden ornamentals and Christmas trees that are produced in the area of Henderson and Transylvania Counties in western North Carolina.
Franklin County Farm Fresh
The mission of Franklin County Farm Fresh is to entice the broader community to “Buy Fresh – Buy Local,” link consumers with Franklin County producers, encourage support of local farm and craft events, and promote sustainable agriculture and environmental stewardship.
This Extension program utilizes a Website and print directory to identify farms, markets and agricultural tourism sites in Alexander, Burke, Lincoln, Catawba, Cleveland and Gaston counties. The goal is to promote local foods, local farms and local fun.
Homegrown Handmade brings together the artists, farmers and creative entrepreneurs rooted in North Carolina’s rural countryside. Self-directed driving tours across the state put visitors in touch with hands-on farm experiences, u-pick organic produce, art galleries, artists’ studios, live music, handcrafts, vineyards and wineries, historic sites and picturesque bed-and-breakfasts.